Dad would have been 95 this year. Instead he died at 74, too soon, of a stroke. He had been a Staff Sergeant in the Eight Air Force during World War II, parachuting out of his B52 plane, shot down by the Germans right in the heart of enemy territory. But Dad, a quiet man, never spoke much about his war experience and I, stupidly in hindsight, never asked him how he got out, one of the many things I now regret.
What I do have are some French franc notes and a handkerchief map of Germany and France cutoff airmen like my Dad were supplied to give them a fighting chance at survival; and all the medals he earned for his heroism. All are nicely framed, hanging in my living room.
Small tokens of consolation from a dad to his son.